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1993 GNP Crescendo

2001 Warner (Europe)

2010 FSM

Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Performed by:
The National Philharmonic Orchestra

Additional Music by:
Michael Boddicker
Richard Rudolph
Morton Stevens

2010 Album Produced by:
Lukas Kendall
Mike Matessino

Labels and Dates:
GNP Crescendo
(November 19th, 1993)

Warner Music (Europe)
(June, 2001)

Film Score Monthly
(June 15th, 2010)

Also See:
Star Trek: Nemesis
Capricorn One

Audio Clips:
1993 Album:

2. Early Arrival (0:32):
WMA (211K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

7. Spiders (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

8. The Rec Room (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

10. Final Message (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

The 1993 album was a regular commercial release, but it went out of print later in the decade and has sold for over $50. The 2001 re-issue remained available at online retail outlets through the 2000's, fetching about $20 as an import. The 2010 Film Score Monthly album is a limited pressing of 5,000 copies, sold for $25 through soundtrack specialty outlets.


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Buy it... if you appreciate even Jerry Goldsmith's most challenging, atmospheric, and grueling listening experiences, an adequate but not spectacular accompaniment to a far better film than most recall.

Avoid it... if you expect the score on its own to be as entertaining as the film, for Goldsmith answers the plot's suspense with extremely harsh tones in the lowest registers and troubled, ambiguous themes that only develop into a tonal payoff for one great finale cue.

Outland: (Jerry Goldsmith) An obscure but timelessly entertaining space Western shot by director Peter Hyams in 1981, Outland has all the basic ingredients of an old Wild West story (and High Noon in particular) but switches the time and location to Jupiter's moon of Io in the future. There, one of many mining colonies is busy sending ore back to Earth on lengthy journeys, and the lifestyle on the station is identical to what you'd find in Dodge City of an era past. It's a dirty existence full of addiction, whores, and other recreation, all kept in line by one sheriff and a mining company supervisor. The man of law is none other than Sean Connery in his prime, and he quickly learns that the company is filtering drugs to the miners so that they work like animals. Unfortunately, the drugs also drive them mad, leading to several grisly suicides that catch the attention of the lawman. When he learns the truth and endeavors to put an end to the company's drug infusions, two assassins are dispatched to the station to restore the previous balance of order. Lengthy scenes depicting Connery's preparations for the ensuing battle (delayed by the crawling pace of space travel) without the assistance of most of the station's inhabitants yield classic suspense. The film wasn't highly regarded, despite Hyams' previous success, and it has since comfortably assumed the role of a hidden gem. Grotesque human explosions in the vacuum of space and simulated hardcore sex acts in the station's "recreation room" give the production a decidedly "B" status. Fun stuff all around, especially when Connery (sans wig, thankfully) eventually blasts men at point blank range rather than trouble himself with arrest procedures. The film represented the second of composer Jerry Goldsmith's collaborations with Hyams, the former being Capricorn One. Although the 1978 NASA thriller received an extremely intelligent and explosive suspense score from Goldsmith, Outland is conversely underplayed. In fact, Goldsmith's work here is so anonymous in its atmospheric stance that it plays only a minor role in the picture, perhaps a result of the composer's admitted difficulty handling the assignment. Several of Goldsmith's cues were removed by Hyams and replaced with either the music of others or simply dropped in favor of silence. As such, Goldsmith's score doesn't have a particularly notable impact on the film until a handful of late cues (culminating in the tonal finale), a consequence of the fact that it was partially dismembered in the final edit and because, frankly, it remains one of the composer's weaker suspense and action scores of this otherwise fruitful period in his career.

Despite its problematic, sometimes arduous demeanor, there is no lack of intelligence in the music for Outland. Rather, Goldsmith's choice to handle most of the film with churning, unpleasant rhythmic propulsion in the lower regions of the orchestra leads to a very challenging listening experience when separated from the claustrophobic, alienating context of the film. Goldsmith wrote two themes for Outland, and while one is applied very specifically to its targeted representation throughout the picture, the other, lesser heard idea steals the show at the end. The primary, frequently employed theme (representing the monolithic, technologically imposing mine) is an extremely obtuse, unpleasant series of paired notes heard immediately on woodwinds in "The Mine" and punctuating the sheriff's conversations with the lead company villain running the station. A secondary part of this theme is a motif that wavers just one note below key, producing a pitch-altering effect that will remind some listeners of James Horner's forthcoming Star Trek scores. Goldsmith often employs the menacing note-wavering motif for purpose of suspense in the picture, made effective by groaning performances by extremely low brass. The actual theme that exists above that motif is so sparse that its fragmented applications in between the opening and closing exterior shots of Io are lost in the ambience of Goldsmith's unsettling atmosphere. Some will find the environment of Outland's stalking cues to be similar to Alien, though there's less intelligent creativity here. The most similar piece between the scores is actually the equally ominous, largely synthetic "Main Titles." The brooding tone of the lowest registers of the performing group can occupy nearly an entire cue (such as "The Hostage") and the explosive ensemble performances of brutal rhythmic pounding (as in "Early Arrival") are, despite sometimes being quite impressive, not frequent enough to form a satisfyingly cohesive listening experience. The latter cue, "Early Arrival," features extremely harsh brass tones and slamming percussion that foreshadow the confrontation material late in Star Trek: Nemesis. The second theme in Outland is the one for the sheriff himself and, to a lesser extent, his family, which leaves him early in the story until he can clean up the station. Goldsmith's use of this theme in the score not clearly defined, because action variants of its primary, descending three-note phrase are applied in places that aren't directly attached to his character (such as the disturbing brass clusters in "Spiders"). It could be a more general representation of the overall scheme of the mining operations.

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The cue "The Message" barely establishes any warmth in the secondary theme's depth, which isn't a problem given that it was cut from the film anyway. But the symphonic crescendo featuring this theme at the end of "Final Message" is a glorious homage to the similar relief in Alien and, for some, may salvage an otherwise non-descript listening experience. The only other singular cue of note is Goldsmith's "The Rec Room," a futuristic sex bar piece for synthesizer that is about as annoying as any single cue in the composer's career; perhaps it's not surprising that Hyams replaced this cue to better represent the explicit holographic-style fornication with traditionally harder material. Since Goldsmith was unavailable for some of Hyams' later requests for changes in the score, two other composers stepped in to make last minute contributions. Goldsmith associate Morton Stevens rearranged the final struggle outside the station during the film's climax, utilizing Goldsmith's themes and tone but producing a strikingly more linear action sound. The two recreation room scenes required all new music from Michael Boddicker, whose music for the seedy environment is just as futuristic in its employment of splashy synthetic rhythms and sound effects as Goldsmith's, but more primal and direct in its personality. On the whole, Outland is a functional score that will only appeal on album to the composer's most fanatical collectors. It remains one of the most effective Goldsmith scores in context to present insurmountable challenges on album, difficulties exacerbated by the heavy rearrangement in edits, repetitiveness, and the recording of alternate, supposedly more accessible takes for the album release. The score's forty-minute album presentation was long featured on a 1993 GNP Crescendo product that also includes the album recording of the far superior Capricorn One. Together, Outland is a minimally interesting distraction from the earlier score, with only its final minute serving to compliment Capricorn One. A 2001 re-issue from Warner's European division remastered the same Outland tracks alone. In 2010, Film Score Monthly released the score as part of its Silver Age Classics series and finally assembled a presentation of the score that begins to make sense. Hearing the Boddicker and Stevens cues in proper order does cause some continuity problems, though the product includes a second CD with the album arrangements in their original order. It's somewhat surprising to see FSM choose Outland as the recipient of a 5,000-copy pressing with two CDs and even more in-depth liner notes than usual, but the film remains a guilty pleasure and the score is as well served as it could possibly be on the 2010 release. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for the Film: **
    Music as Heard on the 1993 and 2001 Albums: **
    Music as Heard on the 2010 Album: ***
    Overall: **

Bias Check:For Jerry Goldsmith reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.26 (in 113 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.25 (in 137,994 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 2.82 Stars
Smart Average: 2.86 Stars*
***** 40 
**** 52 
*** 72 
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    * Smart Average only includes
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              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   What [bleep!]ty review.... again
  Klingsor -- 9/11/14 (1:46 p.m.)
   Two stars?!!
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 Track Listings (1993 GNP Crescendo Album): Total Time: 78:21

Outland: (39:13)
• 1. The Mine (3:52)
• 2. Early Arrival (4:09)
• 3. The Message (2:07)
• 4. The Airlock (4:42)
• 5. Hot Water (4:49)
• 6. The Hunted (5:14)
• 7. Spiders (2:29)
• 8. The Rec Room (3:23)
• 9. The Hostage (4:18)
• 10. Final Message (3:27)
Capricorn One: (39:08)
• 11. Main Title (2:47)
• 12. Bedtime Story (3:01)
• 13. Docking (2:55)
• 14. No Water (2:26)
• 15. The Message (4:33)
• 16. Breakout (3:13)
• 17. Kay's Theme (3:17)
• 18. The Station (3:30)
• 19. The Snake (3:37)
• 20. The Long Climb (3:53)
• 21. The Letter (2:52)
• 22. The Celebration (3:04)

 Track Listings (2001 Warner Album): Total Time: 39:13

• 1. The Mine (3:52)
• 2. Early Arrival (4:09)
• 3. The Message (2:07)
• 4. The Airlock (4:42)
• 5. Hot Water (4:49)
• 6. The Hunted (5:14)
• 7. Spiders (2:29)
• 8. The Rec Room (3:23)
• 9. The Hostage (4:18)
• 10. Final Message (3:27)

 Track Listings (2010 FSM Album): Total Time: 115:47

CD 1: (76:39)
• 1. Ladd Company Logo*** (0:26)
• 2. Main Title (1:18)
• 3. The Mine (3:53)
• 4. Spiders (1:27)
• 5. The Buy (1:29)
• 6. The Airlock (2:23)
• 7. The Fix (1:56)
• 8. The Hostage (2:21)
• 9. Blood Test (1:53)
• 10. Source #1 (Source 192)* (3:44)
• 11. Hot Water (6:00)
• 12. Stiffed (1:32)
• 13. The Bags (1:34)
• 14. Hot Wire (2:04)
• 15. The Bug (1:00)
• 16. Source #2 (Source 193)* (3:35)
• 17. After Hours/The Loading Bay/Hidden Weapons (1:35)
• 18. The Message (2:09)
• 19. Early Estimate/Early Arrival (3:09)
• 20. The Hunters (2:27)
• 21. The Blood (1:07)
• 22. The Hunted (5:07)
• 23. The Greenhouse (2:47)
• 24. The Last Battle (Broken Hose)** (3:01)
• 25. The Showdown (1:29)
• 26. Final Message (0:58)
• 27. End Credits (2:42)

Bonus Tracks:
• 28. Main Title (Original Version) (1:26)
• 29. Watching (0:51)
• 30. Stiffed (Alternate) (1:35)
• 31. The Bags (Alternate) (1:34)
• 32. Released (2:09)
• 33. The Rec Room (3:29)
• 34. Rec Room #2 (1:31)
CD 2: Soundtrack Album: (39:08)
• 1. The Mine (3:52)
• 2. Early Arrival (4:11)
• 3. The Message (2:08)
• 4. The Air Lock (4:48)
• 5. Hot Water (4:50)
• 6. The Hunted (5:17)
• 7. Spiders (2:30)
• 8. The Rec Room (3:27)
• 9. The Hostage (4:20)
• 10. Final Message (3:28)

* composed by Michael Boddicker and Richard Rudolph
** adapted by Morton Stevens
*** composed by John Williams

 Notes and Quotes:  

The inserts of all the albums contain extensive information about the score and film, the 2001 re-issue also featuring a fold-out poster. The insert for the 2010 FSM product is considered "deluxe," with even more analysis than usual for the label's specialty releases.

  All artwork and sound clips from Outland are Copyright © 1993, 2001, 2010, GNP Crescendo, Warner Music (Europe), Film Score Monthly. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/16/09 and last updated 6/21/10. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2009-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.